by CBS3′s Jim Donovan for KYW Newsradio –
Karen Mattson has health insurance, but her prescription copayment amounts are so high that she can’t afford them.
“I have a $700 copayment.”
Karen has multiple sclerosis, and has racked up $20,000 in credit card debt paying her copays.
“Dealing with the insurance in many ways is more stressful than the disease.”
That’s because more and more health insurance companies are introducing a new tier of copayment for specialty drugs. Patients with MS, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, and cancer depend on drugs called “biologics.” They are among the drugs with climbing copays.
There are no federal laws that protect patients from high prescription co-pays, but a bill in the US Senate would put a monthly cap on the amount a person would be forced to spend.